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  CSPAN    Washington This Week    News/Business.  

    May 19, 2013
    10:30 - 2:01pm EDT  

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mush and we do not accomplish much. >> sequestration for this year prevails. what is going to happen? what do you hear about what will happen for sequestration for 2013? >> at that it was interesting that he did not endorse the to go but the concept of a veto. he does not want any more of the small board fixes. the arctic open that door. once they did, it is hard to deny any of these groups coming in and saying we are filling this pain here. he said the main two pillars of sequester that is defense cuts in discretionary cuts should be left intact.
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really hard to envision the way things have been going. if everybody feels the way the congress does, if you have to think that they will find a way once this gets so bad they cannot politically sustain it. >> what do you suspect we might hear from the pentagon on the republican side? them to come together. >> it is unclear. he mentioned the six and a 600,000 for los -- furloughs. i suspect it would affect national security or we will have to close down schools and bases in your district. once the pain comes home and the congressman can no longer defend themselves to their is when wes, that will reach the boiling point.
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>> on immigration reform, what did you hear? >> it is not going to be easy. bringing theorsed senate bill rather than a house project. it does not exist yet. that is a recognition of just how hard it will be to get to the point where you have a house product. they have an agreement in principle. they are drafting it. putting it through the judiciary committee will be tough. putting it on the floor will be a positive. he recognizes that republicans will have to pass anything without a majority of their members on board. that could be politically perilous for the speaker. could the speaker bring the senate bill over for an up or down vote? >> i do not think that would happen. i think the speaker has been
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clear that he would rather work on a house bill. he has been supportive of the house gang of eight efforts. you think the speaker would at least go through the committee process. i do not think he would take of the senate bill. that is not mean we should pick it up. what impact it up and go to conference is another story. >> daniel new hauser, loroi man gumming come -- lori montgomery, thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> some of last week's work on the immigration and border security bill. then robert muller testifies on his agency's 2014 budget request. later, eric holder testifies that a justice department oversight hearing.
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>> how do feel about describing this in 30 seconds? >> i will make the attempt. >> if you cut this into pieces, you go something from this piece to this big. times, we get 10 the size. suppose you did that 35 times. we have not enchantments to measure this. we are working on a piece of mathematics to answer that question. wife is often asked by people who find out i am a theoretical physicist, what does your husband do that her answer is he makes of stuff for a living. people know what novelists do. they take works and sentences
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and tell stories. a theoretical physicist does the same thing is that we use mathematics to tell our stories. -- accept we use mathematics to tell their stories. it corresponds was something in nature. that little clip was my attempt to boil down to a 32nd sound describing what it is me and my community due to understand the world. gates, jr. tonight at 8:00. the senate judiciary committee continued to mark of the border security bill on thursday. members have worked for about a quarter of the 300 amendments. the committee resumes work on the bill monday morning. this portion of the debate is one hour. okay.
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this amendment would replace the provision in the bill related to the special nonimmigrant visa program for the republic of ireland. as currently drafted this special earmark for ireland would allow low-skilled workers some with high school degree to come and work in thes. the secretary has a discretion to prescribe conditions with regard to these nonimmigrants. there's also discretion for the secretary to wave grounds of -- on grounds of inned amisabilty. while the more prudent course of action on this provision is to strike it, i'm offering an amendment that would put parameters on this program. these are the same parameters that senator schumer and i agreed to last year. i want to repeat that. for senator schumer's benefit, because he wasn't paying attention. these are the -- >> how do you know that?
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>> these are the same parameters that senator schumer and i agreed to last year. for people watching, not on the committee -- >> i can hear you. >> he happens to be a democrat, i happen to be a republican. now, here's what miami does. it would create a new visa classification for individuals from the republic of ireland. this e-3b visa would allow individuals to enter the united states after an employer files a labor testation with the department of labor. the bill would allow 10,500 new visas to be available each year for two years. and the visa would be good for two years though indefinitely renewable. the allocation of 0,500 would be divided into three categories of workers.
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3500 for specialty occupations or those with specializes knowledge or a bachelor's or higher degree. 3500 for aliens who have at least a high school education or its equivalent. and 3500 for aliens who within five years of the date of application for a visa under this subjection have three years of work experience and on passi occupations for which aliens are applying. both principal alien and each dependent would be required to pay a fee of $300. the bill would prohibit individuals here on the irish visa to be eligible for any means tested public benefit, finally the bill includes a provision that triggers implementation of the irish visa program when, quote, the secretary of state certifies that the government of ireland
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provides immigration benefits to nationals of the united states that are similar considering the relative population size of the two countries to the benefits provided to nationals of ireland under this act. again, this is a concept that senator schumer and i agreed to last year. i don't think that we should be creating special visa programs just for any country. i think the whole purpose of the immigration bill, outside beyond the legalization part of it, the part that dealing with the legalized provisions of the gang of eight bill is to provide workers that are needed for the united states and within that same principle apply to ireland as well as any other country or any other individuals coming here. but we should have better parameters than are in the gang of eight bill.
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i urge its adoption. i ask senator shum for it was good enough last year to get a bill through the united states senate, why isn't the same parameters and restricts good enough for now? >> patrick leahy will give his views on the irish visa. go ahead, senator schumer. >> thank you. first i want to thank my good friend, chuck grassley. i have enormous affection for him. we share much more in common than people would think. for instance, we're the only two charles e.s in the senate. the only two chucks in the senate. used to be four. rob and hagel. but now it's you and me. and i enjoy our -- i enjoy our repartee. on this amendment, the bottom line is very simple and that is this, we have always had a
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program to help irish immigration, for one very good reason. many. american and ireland are bound together by history, traditions and a common ancestry. according to the u.s. census, there are 41 million americans who claim to be wholly or partly of irish ancestry. the proposal addresses conan consequences unintended from 1965 immigration law that inadvert antly disadvantaged irish nationals seeking to enter the united states and ever since that time, my predecessor on this committee, senator kennedy, sought to rectify it. and we had a series of programs, donnelly visas in 1988, the morrison visas in 1992, diversity visas in 1994, which we are terminating now with the request of many on the other side. we keep sunsetting the provisions and it creates disruption.
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we have similar programs with australia, chile, singapore, none of them have the same historic connection to the united states that ireland does. i think the program is well crafted. two-year sunset would mean that we would -- by the time it got started up it would be over. may as well not have it. so i would just conclude by quoting somebody who is my mentor and idol in the senate who ran the committee so well for so long, i think his spirits hovering over the bill as we talk about, senator kennedy. he was a sponsor of the 1965 law which i mentioned inadvertently impacted the irish negatively. he said, in 2006, in 19 65, what we were trying to do is eliminate discrimination that existed in lott about the way the legislation was developed worked in a dramatic and significant way against the irish. the amendment -- the proposal in the bill without sunsetting after two years, without chopping things up, creates a
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program very similar to what we have for other countries and it does put it into law permanently and i urge its support. >> let me speak also seriously about this. i watched this whole issue carefully. i've discussed it wirth the irish as well as the irish ambassador, superb ambassador colins. certainly evireviewed history on island has that had a troubled history which caused some -- especially to our country and other english speaking countries. but i think of that shared history we have with ireland, when i think of presidents who have claimed irish ancestry, president kennedy, president
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reagan, actually president obama, and others, i know about the shared history. i worry about welcoming a foreign national to work and live in the united states but then deny them any public benefits when they make a valuable contribution to our society. i don't know how you deny things like emergency medicaid to e-3b holder, which would cost less, but just to go to the emergency room which will cost us or. i feel very strongly about the visas that we have for a number of countries. but the irish visas that i intend to fight for them. >> the gang of eight worked carefully to make sure we took care of this problem. we knew it was a challenge. we have been trying for years to resolve this program. i will tell you, the honor of
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representing the city of chicago which has a few irishmen and very proud of it, the irish population has been so supportive of immigration reform, not just for themselves, but for others, because like many groups in our nation's history, they have lived it. they have known what it meant to face the discrimination and to face the problems and they overcame them. they are a major element in leadership of our country today. we have a rich national heritage and tradition between us. i fully support the provision in the bill and urge my colleagues to resist the amendment by senator grassley. >> senator grassley? >> i would like to close, before we vote. and that would be i hope everybody listened to what senator schumer said. first of all, we're not repealing anything dealing with ireland. we're just putting parameters on it. there's no reason to not to welcome skilled workers from
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ireland as well fras aas from a country. the point being, what's the purpose of the legislation, particularly legal immigration part of it. it is to make sure that americans have workers that they had. the other thing is that senator schumer didn't answer my question why if it was good enough last time, it wouldn't be good enough this time because i thought we worked out a strong compromise. it had been brought up last year we wouldn't be dealing with this this year, at least as far as the united states senate is cornered. i'm going to withdraw the amendment. >> thank you. the amendment is withdrawn. i call up leahy amendment number two. let me describe it. it would make important improvements to job creating
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eb-5 regional center program. >> are we done with the first tranche of title i havv? >> we are. >> nothing can be brought up on title iv? >> if it's closed, it's closed. on the first tranche? the first tranche is closed. this would be called up by consent. >> a number of amendments as you can see from my colleague of utah here, we are working very hard to negotiate an agreement and i have asked the senator from utah to defer these amendments, klobuchar 6 is included in this as well, in hopes we can get an agreement for early next week in which we ask permission to come back. >> mr. chairman? mr. chairman?
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>> i -- some pine we have to vote on these things. senator from utah? >> mr. chairman, i really appreciate the way your side has worked with a number of us on this committee, both democrats and republicans. and i am happy to put this over until next week and hopefully we can resolve this because it's extremely important. not just to me, but i not to me but the high-tech world. i want to thank the distinguished senator from new york for dill gently working with us. >> we'll keep it open. we have to bring up other amendments. >> let's perhaps one of the things we can address tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon, that would make sure we can get it -- i call up my leahy amendment number two. this amendment would make
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improvements to eb-5 regional center program. we talked about investment america, power of immigration, to make our economy stronger. my amendment's going to do just that. the eb-5 program created good-paying jobs for american workers in state of vermont as well as iowa, utah, new york, texas, and other states. there are currently approved regional centers in alabama, and the senator from alabama and i worked closely on this matter, arizona, california, connecticut, hawaii, illinois, iowa, minnesota, new york, south carolina, texas, utah, and my state. citizens of the state, 16 members of the committee using the important program to create jobs, improve communities. eb-5 regional center program enacted in 1993. senator grassley and i worked together to reauthorize it in 2003. i fought for several extension
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of the program since then. last year i worked with senators grassley, cornyn, hatch, shumer to extend the program for another three years. i'm glad today we're considering the permanent authorization for this important program. at the suggestion of senator grassley, i've added a suggestion by senator grassley to significantly increase oversight authorities for the department of homeland security. i've included these measures alook with ideas to make the program more efficient for businesses and investors that participate in it, i'm perfectly willing to have a voice vote on miami but certainly does anybody wish to peek to it? senator from alabama. >> mr. chairman, you've worked on this for a number of years and i've been pleased to work with you on it. this clearly is a job creating
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immigration amendment. it allows persons to come to america if they are going to invest and if they're going to create jobs. and you tighten it up, language is tight. it says secretary should perform background checks on anyone associated with the center, fingerprint, fbi checks and other controls to make sure it's not abused. but most of us, in our states seen the advantage of for investment. we have a toyota plant, mercedes plant, these individuals have invested millions of dollars creating tens of thousands of jobs and it's been good for the economy. i believe your amendment strengthens the bill. i believe it puts us on a right path. i believe it's good for america in the national interest and i thank you for your leadership about. >> i thank you, senator.
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anybody else? anybody else wish to speak to the amendment? those in favor of the amendment signify by saying aye. opposed? the ayes appear to have it. the ayes have it. i thank all of my colleagues but i thank senators on both sides of the aisle. senator session, senator grassley and everybody else who worked with us on making this amendment. what's next? senator grassley has an amendment. next? what? >> what number? >> remember two days ago i had questions on the w visa program i wanted to ask? the w program is available so anybody that of the gang of eight can answer this or anybody else that wants to speak to it. the w program is available for foreign workers who are outside the united states and want to enter through legal channels. it does not allow people here
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illegally to apply for a w visa. would someone who has been here illegally but returns to their home country be eligible to apply? i guess senator flake, you're the one that's left here. >> anybody wish to answer the question? >> subject to the same three and ten-year bars. >> senator flake? sorry. go ahead. >> yes. they would be subject to the same three and ten-year bars as in current law. >> secondly, employers who apply for the registered position must try to find u.s. worker first. pa that requirement is on page 818. yet on page 80 7, u.s. worker is defined and includes people in rpi status. question, does this mean
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employers must first offer the job or recruit the individual who broke the law and are awarded rpi status before they use this legal immigration program? if so, isn't this unfair to people who are following the law and apply for w visa from their home country? >> it means before you hire somebody from abroad you have to look at entire pool of talent here. >> okay. three, the person applying for w visa must, quote, agree to accept only registered positions in the united states end of quote. question. can you point to any los angeles that tells us what happens to the w visa holder if they don't abide by this term and are found working for a nonregistered employer? >> if they -- if after 60 days
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their visa can be revoked if they don't have employment. their w visa would not pass e-verify. they wouldn't be able to stay. >> okay. >> they have to have employment. >> and that also applies to somebody found working for a nonregistered employer? >> yes. they have to comply with the law. >> okay. on page -- >> that would be a violation of their visa, i'm sorry. >> i have three more questions. on page 811 it says that, quote, a w nonimmigrant shall report to such nonimmigrant's initial employment nay registered position not later than 14 days after such nonimmigrant is admitted to the united states end of quote. how does an employer, this is the question, how does the employer know when a w visa holder is admitted, what if the person doesn't show up for
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weeks? how would the employer know to notify the department of homeland security if the employer doesn't know the admitted date? >> like with students there's a database. if they don't show up, then it's noted. we'll know. they're part of the database, like we have students. better than we have today with students frankly. we have a pretty good entry system. we just don't have a good exit system currently. >> page 812 a w visa holder can be unemployed for a period of no more than 60 consecutive days. question, couldn't a person be employed for two days, leave the employer, work somewhere else for four days, leave that employer and so on? what -- why not say cumulative remember than consecutive? shouldn't we be worried about those that may abuse this work requirement? >> that, i think we'd be happy to work with you on something
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like that. >> okay. >> last question. the w visa program places a hefty fee on employers who need workers. the aliens only have to pay for their own transportation and passport costs. question, why did the authors not include any processing or other fees for w visa applicants? >> the fees are pretty extensive. they're funding the database and the make up the program. so i -- whether it's employee -- sorry the employer or the individua individual. >> i was wondering why not the applicant that wants to come here to work? >> well, they are here for employment. i think it would be difficult.
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under current law that burden is typically on the employer to pay. those fees if they want them to come. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. you told me you did want to ask those questions and of course i always yield to you for that. do you have an amendment now? >> did senator grassley offer the amendment? >> yeah. 75. and i'm going -- >> 75? >> you're going to withdraw? >> mr. chairman. >> thank you senator grassley for raising the issue and the w-1 or w-2 reese 1 visas remain >> just hold. which number are we on? >> 76. >> 76. okay. >> raises a real question. i want to ask, maybe i can dispose of an amendment. i have filed without a vote just by commenting on this.
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i guess my first question would be to the sponsors of the legislation. does the exit of a w-1ing w-2 visa have to be accompanied by a biometric identifier so we have an actual exit system that biometrically records that the immigrant left at the time they were supposed to or did not leave? >> senator from new york. >> we don't have a separate system for w visas. it's the exit/entry system is the same for all visas and that makes the most sense. >> well it makes no sense to me in sense that we need a biometic exit system. you are trcorrect there is no separate system for that for the w visas. i would point out that this is
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another powerful reason we feed a biometric exit system, because if you allow large numbers of persons unvisas, and there is this case w visas, to enter the country we need to know if they're going to leave. one of the biggest problems we have in immigration today is people overstaying their visas and there's no mechanism to even know if they overstay. so i guess i would say to you, i want to ask for a vote on my am. we've had two votes on it so far. senator graham changed a vote last time and voted for my biometric amendment. senator rubio, i would note, has made clear that he wants a biometric entry/exit system. he was disappointed in the vote that we had the other day because it voted down that on a closed vote. i really think we need to continue to work on the biometric exit. i believe the w visa system
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cannot be sold to the american people as an effective system if we can't tell them we know when people complete their work and whether or not they've left the country. and what we've got in this system, and many of the visa programs, colleagues, you have to know, you've got large numbers of people coming annually. they're supposed to, some of them are supposed to leave at various times. they're coming with their family. they're staying multiple years. in large numbers of them, history tells us, will not leave. so therefore, we're not going to achieve the lawfulness in the system that we've promises the american would be achieved if the bill passed. we've had a couple of votes on that system. we'll continue to discuss the need for biometric. >> will the senator yield? i want to make one point. this system is just what it should be you come in, you have a passport. you're obviously a person coming in on a visa.
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you then on the way out you have to swipe the passport, it's not, again, not forgeable. and it integrates with the whole system to see when people are here and when people are not. it's a strong system. and the w visa system has its own database which is integrated into the rest. so -- >> i'd be glad -- at least that's better than the present system for most people. but it doesn't strike me that that's been effective. i appreciate your comment. >> mr. chairman? the grassley amendment, i'd like to yield to senator grassley if we can. >> senator schumer yield for one quick question? >> happy to field. >> i hear what you're saying about the passport coming in. the passport going out. what if the -- what if the person on a temporary visa never shows up to swipe their passport on the way out?
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>> that's the point. right now we have no way of knowing because nobody swipes anything on the way out. now there would be the system would work that john smith overstayed his visa and they would go track down john smith. john smith would not be if he was a student, these are w visas, he would not be allowed to be employed anywhere, you have to show the card for any employment and they'd track him down and find him. now they do nothing. >> i agree they do nothing now. i don't have much confidence that they -- that that will change. only time that we encounter people who overstay their visas if they commit crimes. then they're screened, if they commit serious crimes they're deported. right now we have no effective system. i agree with senator sessions, this system is no substitute for a biometric entry/exit system which i think is the only dependable way to ensure the
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american people of illegal immigration, the product of the failure to enact the entry/exit system the law of the land for 17 years is an absolute disaster. >> i would just say to my colleague, my good friend, whether it's biometric or using a swipe of a passport you still have to enforce the law. what we did is we allow some kinds of automatic enforcement. can't be employed anywhere unless the employer's violating the law. the issue of biometric, we discussed at length yesterday, expensive and every time it's been proven, it's flopped. if we pushed biometric system we'd have nothing for a decade. having this system which worked, it's worked if many places as a try-out, even disneyland. disneyland did a fingerprint. i can't remember which one, disney world did a fingerprint and when disney studied how they worked it went to a picture,
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biographic system like passport in disney world. every place -- i've been a big supporter of biometrics. if you want something to work and you want it to go into effect in a reasonable amount of time, to simply say let's do a biometric, we've been saying that for years, since 20001 and we haven't had one. this is a known system that is, if not foolproof, as close to it as you can come. if you want -- i -- the -- to have the possible perfect ten years in future be the enemy of the extremely good doesn't make much sense to me. >> i would say briefly, in response, that the flaw, and don't doubt your sincerity a bit, the flaw is, if people don't exit, there is essentially no mechanism for identifying them and making sure that they honor the temporary nature -- >> i would say this. first that argument is a valid
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argument. it has nothing to do with the type of system, biometric or otherwise. whether it's biometric system or the other if you don't go through the gate, go back out of the country, you're not geeing to find them. these are work visas, w visas, tied into the employment system. anyone -- no company will be able to hire this person. and so that is a pretty good incentive for people to work, if they can't get work. that would be whether it's a biometric or a passport system. >> just conclusion, i know we all understand there are a lot of people who don't have visas that are working now in our country. i agree that a e-verify or employer verification system will help. but i think it's naive for us to think that it will solve all of our problems. i would ask mr. chairman, i know there have been statements made how expense everybody a
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biometric system is. i know there's -- that's heavily contested. and i wish we could get some good information from some people who actually know the answer to that. i can't believe it's as prohibitively expensive. i believe it will be superior than the system senator schumer describes. >> mr. chairman? >> we're still on the grassley amendment. senator grassley, then senator feinstein. >> thank you. just to clarify the amendment i'm offering, and going to withdraw, but to bring up flaws in the bill, we've been discussing flaws about the exit/entry system. my remarks are in regard to the employer monitoring system. this amendment would require the electronic employer tracking system to be fully implemented and fully deployed prior to the admission of w nonimmigrants. on page 849 the bill says,
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quote, the secretary through the u.s. citizenship and immigration service shall implement an electronic monitoring system to monitor presence and employment of w nonimmigrants. such system shall be modeled on the student second and change visitor information, cvis and cvis 2 tracking system of the united states immigration and customs enforcement, end of quote. this language poses questions. first, are we going to mandate employers use e have-verify andw system not established yet. we mandate that employer use e-verify but then monitor it on a system not yet established. second, are we going to base this new tracking system on the
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flawed ineffective and broken system that tracks students today? we just had a discussion on that. we talked a bit on tuesday about the student tracking system. in 1996, after the '93 world trade center attack, congress mandated that the immigration service with cooperation from schools and universities collect information on foreign students. this system took years to get up and running. in fact, it still wasn't in place on 9/11. while it's operational today, there's still work to be done to make sure that the system is effective. yet, this bill would require the u.s. citizenship and immigration service the same agency in charge of the legalization program, the e-verify program, and every other immigrant benefit to set up and operate a monitoring system for employers who use the new w visa program.
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this bill lacks clarity on this system. it doesn't provide any detail on when it has to be developed or deployed. it doesn't say what penalties would be assessed if an employer doesn't use it. moreover, it doesn't protect anyone's privacy. surely, members of this committee wouldn't want an employee's information to be made public or misused by an employer. if the w visa program is going to be based on the student tracking system, that's what the bill requires, then are employers going to designate certified users of the program? are they going to be trained on how to use the system? we have a huge problem with the student tracking system because some designated school officials -- and we call those dsos -- are misusing the system,
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not using it properly, and sometimes not tracking students' activities like they should. under the student tracking system, the dsos must be lawful, permanent residents or u.s. citizens. on tuesday, we agreed to an amendment offered by senator feinstein and this senator that would require the dsos to undergo a background check. are we going to require employers of low-skilled workers to have designated officials that only use the program? are they going to -- are they prepared to pay for the background checks for their designated officials? what if they have high turnover rates? it makes one wonder if small businesses are really going to be able to take advantage of the program. if we require them to use this system and they don't have the resources, this w visa program will be gears only towards big .
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situation, or large packing plants, and companies that have the resources to cross state lines. some businesses should be very wary of the program. they will lose out and be squeezed by the big businesses that have the resources to operate e-verify on the front end and this monitoring system on the back end. the bill is silent on every one of these issues. it's got something that we are got to clarify. we potentially have an enormous, gaping hole here. we have a huge hole in one student visa process and that has been highlighted by the terrorist attacks in this country '93, 20012013. so we've got to ask everybody, when are we going to wake up? i want a temporary worker program that will work. i want legal avenues for people to enter and work in this country. i want there to be programs
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available to all businesses in the united states when they can't find american workers. so, we need the w visa program. i think this issue must be resolved. i know that a lot of hard work and negotiations went into the w visa program. i know that both labor unions and business groups tackled some difficult issues. finally reaching an agreement. this is such an important part of the bill, that during the year 2006 or '7, whenever it was it brought down the last immigration bill that we tried to pass at that particular time. so you have to raise the question, can this body really allow a program to go forward if the key elements to tracking workers and ensuring integrity of integrity of the program is missing? i hope that the sponsors of the bill will work with me on this issue as we move forward. as i said, i'm going to withdraw this amendment, but i thought it
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was very important at the committee level we understand some of the short comings of the legislation so we can get it right because we have to pass an immigration bill because the present immigration system is broken. >> thank you. i agree we must pass one. >> mr. chairman? >> the amendment is withdrawn. >> may i just make a comment? >> as long as you like because then we'll go to the schumer number five. >> thanks, mr. chairman. i thank senator grassley for withdrawing the amendment, although i agree with a lot of what he said. i do agree with senator cornyn that we ought to look more deeply into the biometric systems. some states are using this on driver's licensees. i'd like to have an examination of exactly how costly it is. perhaps we can work together, not stop this bill, but it seems to me if there is a better
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identification system, one that cannot be foiled, i think we should have it. if it's cost effective, i know we should have it. it seems those are the two things we need to determine for the future. i'm very happy to work with you in that regard. >> thank you. senator sessions. >> i see the gang of eight decided they couldn't make this happen, but it can be made to happen and it's got to be made to happen. i don't believe this legislation can pass if we don't have a biometric exit system as current law requires and has for a number of years, and they establish tlud pilot programs that it can work. "usa today" said the best estimates are $3 billion to $6 billion. i don't know if that is not 25 or 10 airports are using, in my judgment. i don't see how in your
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legislation that explicitly rejects and repeals current law that requires biometric and takes us to biographic, and explicitly exempts having exit systems at land borders can be in any way suggested strengthens current law because current law requires biometric exit systems at land borders. the american people need to know you're not strengthening current law, you're weakening current law. we can make this system work. if a person comes here on a visa, we need to know when they leave. if we don't have a system now, which we don't, that effectively carries that vision out, the new law weakens the requirement even further. so we've got a long way to go on that. i want to offer my amendment because we voted twice on it. i would note again senator rubio in his handout said there is a
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concern. the exit system omits land ports of entry. solution, the amendment, an amendment to require the exit system to be implemented and operational at our land ports of entry, not just air and seaports as the current bill does. what i think will have to be in any bill that becomes law. >> senator from arizona. >> let me just say briefly, i do believe that we need to move to this system at some point. the question is how quickly we can get there and should we hold up the rest of the bill for this? i think that some of the amendments to come will deal with that. senator hatch, i believe, has the best amendment in this regard that could come up as part of title iii. it would establish in two years a mandatory biometric exist data system for the ten u.s. core 30 airports. these are the ones that support the biggest level of air travel. five years after enactment, gao
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would say, how is this working? unless congress acts, it would be mandatory at the top 30 airports and go on from there. i think it's a thoughtful amendment. i hope we'll consider it because this provides for gao to look at it, see what the cost is, how see how effective it is. we'll have the system senator schumer described which is a vast improvement on what we have today, which is virtually nothing for an exit system. as we go through this, i think we can reach a happy medium where we do make sure we are on the road to biometrics, but we don't hold up the bill at immigration reform for that. >> would the senator yield for a quick question? is there a trigger associated with the implementation of the entrit land since 1996 that we have an entry/exit system.
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it's never been implemented. i just wonder what the hammer is that we can use to enforce the obstinate bureaucracy or executive branch? >> before anybody can adjust status to green card status. i think senator schumer will speak to that. >> senator graham, recognition senator graham. >> following up on senator cornyn's point, this was a real big discussion among the group here is what should the triggers be? when it was proposed at the adjustment cannot take place until you have an entry/exit system implemented up and running and e-verify, i thought that was probably the biggest improvement we had since 2005 on how to get our borders secure and control illegal immigration. so it is a trigger. here's the question for the body. the current law says biometrics,
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but the truth of the matter, congress hasn't acted on that proposal. we've had republican presidents, we had republican congresses, we had democratic congresses and democratic presidents, and we have never invested into making the exit system biometric. under the current system, it really doesn't work very well at all. our proposal to have a photographic identifier, i think, is far better than the current system. having said that, senator cornyn, i want you to know if it were left up to me, we would have a biometric social security card. we wouldn't just have a piece of paper. we would have a biometric social security card which would be the ultimate protection against illegal hiring. every american over time would turn their piece of paper into a biometric document and we would end, in my view, illegal hiring through that process better than anything i could think of. we had some push back from our
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libertarian friends. when it comes to the exit system, i'm where senator flake said. let's go with a hatch proposal. i want biometrics as far as the eye can see in as many ways as possible post 9/11 to protect this nation. but to make it a trigger, in light of how much it cost and how much it takes, i just think goes too far. making it a mandate on 30 airports that can grow over time, i think, is the right balance. >> i don't want to cut anybody off, but i know there are some hoping to get late afternoon flight tomorrow afternoon. at the rate we're going, it will be saturday afternoon. senator cornyn, then senator schumer. >> i'll try to be brief. i just want to make clear that i ask the gang members to clarify for us exactly what the trigger is. the bill, as i read it, only requires that a system be in use. and if it's in use, does it
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cover all land ports, all seaports and all airports or just some fraction of those? >> all air and sea, yes. >> all air and seaports, that's the trigger, but not land ports. i would just note as senator sessions had we have millions of people coming across through the land ports on a daily basis. obviously, i'm concerned that this not slow down legitimate commerce and visitors, but it is a huge hole. i would just say it looks to me that the trig arer for the entry/exit system is actually different from the trigger for the border security element in the bill. i just would like one of the gang members to explain. as i read the bill, the trigger for the border security component just requires a plan to be produced, not a plan
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implemented or a plan that achieves certain metrics or results. why was there a decision to treat the border security trigger differently than these other triggers? >> can i take a shot at that? >> i'd like to offer my -- i was going to offer my amendment, mr. chairman. we debated the biometric yesterday at a great length. we voted on a biometric bill. we'll debate it on the floor. i would like to move my amendment. >> i would like to get an answer to my question. >> listen, i don't think it's an unreasonable question. >> thank you. >> i think it's a very good question. i think we need to talk about what we decided was good border security. i'm very proud of it. i'm going to support it. if you can make it better without destroying the bill, great. on the republican side, we have a reputation of never quite getting there on border security. now, why are we tying the
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pathway to citizenship to a guessworker program? because i'm not going to live 11 million illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship until i get something i want. i want a new immigration system. i'm not going to trust them to give it to me after they get on a path to citizenship. our democratic friends are not going to trust us to hold everything up until we are satisfied with border security. you live on the border. i know you're assassin sear about this as possible, but we got to talk about the elephant in the room here. every time we have this debate, there's always a reason the border is not quite secure enough. we spent billions of dollars, we got 21,000 border security agents on the border, spending $4.5 billion more, we are going to have 18 drones, have technology we used in iraq and afghanistan, and we're going to have as a trigger that the
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comprehensive southern border strategy substantideployed andgo terms that are a bit flexible because at the end of the day, people on their side believe we're going to use 90% or 95% define one problem in the border and we never quite get there. your desire to secure this border is my desire. the southern border fencing strategy is substantially completed. to me that makes sense. as senator cornyn has expressed numerous times, fences really are not the best security available to the country in some parts. so in my view, the mandatory e-verify system is the ultimate border security cause they come here to get jobs. as to the land-base exit system, the seaports and the airports have not had the attention the land base system has, so that's why we created a new system. that's the gap in the system is
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the airports and the seaports. look at boston. that's the gap. on the land side, we're improving every day, want to do more. i'm not against biometrics, but here's what i'm against. i'm against having systems that can never be achieved. in my lifetime. i'm against moving -- i'm for moving forward making our border more secure, but i will end with this thought. the reason we have 11 million illegal immigrants, none of them coming from canada, is because the people who come here from the south and overstay the visas come from very distressed parts of the world. if you can control who gets a job, you're going to control illegal immigration. you cannot build a fence high enough if you're still having availability of jobs in america to illegal immigrants. we are going to do things we've never done before. enhance border security by spending more money using more technology, but finally, in my
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view, address the cause of this problem. controlling who gets a job. under this bill, if you're an employer and you hire somebody illegally in the future, you're going to go to jail or lose your business. that's a long overdue reform. >> mr. chairman? >> mr. chairman? >> certainly, on the schumer number five, anybody else wishes to talk about then we can have a voice vote? >> if i could respond briefly to my friend. drug cartels and human traffickers don't use e-verify. drug cartels and human traffickers don't use e-verify. they don't use an entry/exit system. i don't doubt the sincerity of what the gang has proposed, but here is even more fundamental problem. is that the border security
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component -- trigger, calls for a plan. it does not call for results, it calls for a plan. i'll be glad to yield in a moment. to say that it's just more spending, i think it is going to cost more money to provide border security, but right now the gao has said that only about 45% of our border is operationally secure. that caused the department of homeland security to do away with that as a metric to judge their success. they have yet to come up with a substitute which is the so-called border security index. so i would defy anyone to be able to show, based on results as opposed to hopes, asrations and dreams, that the border is secure. that's what i believe the american people expect and
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deserve. in fact, if this bill were to pass without adequate measures for eliminating the source of so much of the illegal immigration, i think this bill is designed to fail. i know no one here wants this bill to be designed to fail. yes, sir? >> senator grassley, question to -- >> to this point exactly. the gentleman brings up great points. >> we'll go back to the point of the amendment itself, but go ahead. >> i think maybe there is a misunderstanding what constitutes an actual trigger, submittal of the plan or substantial completion. with this legislation, what we are saying before, rpi status can start for anyone there has to be a plan submitted. keep in mind that plan has to be substantially deployed. if it does not produce 90% effectiveness after a five-year period, the department of homeland security loses control to a local commission made up of
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border governors, local ranchers and others who will spend an addition dwral additional $2 billion and then you have a period of time before anybody can adjust their status where it's not just a matter of submitting a plan. already triggers have been tripped if substantial, if 90% effectiveness is not reached before anybody can adjust status, these measures have to be substantially deployed. that the commission put forward. so these are not just plans submitted. it's substantially more than that. and before anybody can adjust status, these other things, entry/exit system has to be in use, not just a plan submitted in use. and e-verify has to be in use. these are not just plans. it's far more than that. the whether when rpi status starts as opposed to adjustment of
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status beyond that. so i don't blame anyone for being confused on this we have several points, but there is substantial work that has to be done and completed before people adjust their status. >> i would just offer by brief response, i don't doubt the sincerity of the plan. thank you for the explanation. but in fact, the commission has no power other than to create another plan. it's just -- >> but that plan has to be substantially completed. it's not just submittal that triggers anything. before anybody can adjust status, it has to be substantially deployed. >> i don't underestimate the sincerity of the senator and the gang of eight in their aspirations and hopes and dreams for this, but it's a plan, it's a hypothetical plan. we don't know whether it will ever be implemented. that's my concern. >> senator grassley had a question of senator schumer. >> senator schumer, question. it seems to me that your amendment works contrary to what
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we are trying to accomplish here. we've got people in other countries that are waiting in line to come here legally to work under the program set up here. with your secondary registry, it seems to me you're giving preference to people that are already here, and if those people aren't working, why are they still here? >> it's very simple. what we are saying here is before you can bring someone from out of the country into the country to work, you either have to find americans or someone who is already here on a work visa or bringing someone else new you ought to look at the supply in this country. so the other registry is all the people who are already here on w-visas, maybe they're working, maybe they're not. if not, you ought to go for them before you bring in someone new. >> if they're not working,
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>> more now from congress with f.b.i. director robert mueller. this is about 50 minutes.
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today -- this process today will be in two parts. it will be aspects -- this was last scheduled -- director mueller was the last directing member since j. edgar hoover. he is the only director to serve out his full term plus an additional two. we want to thank you for your service.
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>> we know there are many in the f.b.i. now, particularly those related to the boston marathon bombing. i know all of this, all of the f.b.i. mourns what happened
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there. but every family has a story. those who responded gave a response, and there was a coordinated law enforcement effort. i know there will probably be member questions about that, particularly in terms of the authority that the f.b.i. needs to be able to prevent such things from happening.
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this was an act of a predator, or was it inaction? three girls kidnapped from ohio. the f.b.i. was involved there. 45 million dollar a.t.m. heist which was exposed. $45 million in an international coordinated effort. and at the same time after everything from utter bank robbers to those who have a predatory intent to our country. we want to look at these issues facing the f.b.i. and we are concerned about the budget.
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the president's request was $8.4 billion. after sequestratian, it was $7.5 billion. a sequester continues in 2014, there will be an additional $700 million price for the f.b.i. this is a stunning amount of money, particularly when the -- with the incredible things the f.b.i. has to do. we are heartened by the fact that the president has increased the appropriations request for a new program, one the next generation of cyber, for $87 million. we are anticipating the need for a national criminal background
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check system. 6 $100 million for new people. funding for biotechnology. there are critical programs, but they are needing funding. exploitation of children, for which i am an enormous advocate, and investigating hate crime and the despicable practice of human tracking. we are also concerned about eliminating the national intelligence center and the consequences of that. we are looking forward to hearing from you. we welcome you to comment on the
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sequester today, and what will be the situation if it continues in 2014. i'm going to ask my entire statement be included in the record. >> senator mueller, i want to thank you and the men and women at the f.b.i. who work every day to protect this nation. we are grateful for the sacrifice that they and their families make. since september 11, the f.b.i. has been tasked with additional national security provisions. today the f.b.i.'s mission includes, among other things, protecting the united states against acts of director. foreign intelligence threats. cyber-crimes, while simultaneously maintaining focus
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on traditional criminal divots activities such as violent crimes, corruption, and white collar crimes. criminal terrorists are increasingly agile. the same is required of the f.b.i. the constantly changing landscape of criminal activity at home and abroad has challenged your ability to quickly respond to emerging threats. in recent years, we have seen threats arrive in the areas of home mortgages, financial fraud, cyber-security, and of course, terrorism. but it won't stop there. i believe that new unimagined threats will challenge the f.b.i. and all of us in the future. without a plan to ad drs these
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sbations, the f.b.i. will lurch from crisis to crisis, which is -- without a plan to address these situations, the f.b.i. will lurch from crisis to crisis, which no one wants. while it maintains core mission, i believe it lacks focus on how the bureau will address future unexpected threats i just mentioned. recognizing the world in which we live and the toughness for climate, i'm concerned that the budget priorities reflected in this request do not always ensure that the bureau is efficient, effective, and more importantly nimble for the foreseeable future.
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i believe in addressing issues which safeguards tirppeds while preserving fub safety. i look forward to hearing from you, mr. director, about the bureau's budget and priorities. i'm also interested in hearing about the f.b.i.'s work pre and post boston bombing. and finally the recent acknowledgement from the department that they have received the records of the associated press journalists has many concerned. while i appreciate this is an ongoing investigation, i hope you will be as forthcoming as possible in addressing this issue here today. thank you, mr. director. >> good morning mcski and
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congressman she will by. -- shelby. as pointed out, we live in a time of diverse and persistent threat from terrorists, spies, and cyber-criminals. at the same time, we face a wide range of criminal threats from white collar crime to public corruption to transnational criminal syndicates, migrating gangs, and child predators. just as our national security and criminal threats constantly evolve, so, too, must the f.b.i. counter these threats during a time of constrained budgets, as, senator, you have pointed out. today i would like to highlight several of the f.b.i.'s highest national priorities and criminal threats. i'll start with reference to boston illustrated by that recent attack, the terrorist threat against the united states remains our top priority.
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in the past few weeks, we have seen an extraordinary effort by public safety agencieo find and hold those accountable who are responsible for the boston bombings. as you know, one of the bombers is dead, a second suspect has been charged, and we continue our efforts to identify anyone who may be responsible. with the help and cooperation of the public, have led to the results so far, and let me assure you, there will be no pause in that effort. there are limits to what we can discuss publicly about the case today, as the investigation is active and ongoing. as this case illustrates, we face a continuing threat from home-grown terrorists. they do not share a typical profile. their experience and motives are often not distinct which makes them difficult to identify and to stop.
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yet, at the same time, foreign terrorists still seek to strike at home and abroad. terrorists today operate in more places and against a wider array of targets than they did a decade ago. we have seen an increase in the cooperation among terrorist groups and evolution in their tactics and communications. al-qaeda is weaker and more decentralized than it was 11 years ago, but it remains committed to attacks against the west. al-qaeda affiliates and sur indicates, in particular, al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula, pose a continuing and a growing threat. and in light of the recent attacks in north africa, we must focus on emerging extremist groups capable of carrying out such additional attacks. let us turn for a second to discuss the cyber-threat which has evolved significantly over the past decade and cuts across all f.b.i. programs.
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cyber-criminals have become increasingly ad event at exploiting weaknesses in our networks, and once inside, they can exiltrate state secrets. we also face threats from hackers for profit, organized criminal cyber-syndicates and hacker groups. as i said in the past, i believe the cyber-fleat may well eclipse the terrorist threat in years to come. we have enhanced our national security abilities in the wake of the september 11 attacks. the cyber-division is focused on intrusion attacks. f.b.i. agents work side-by-side with federal, state, and local counterparts in each of our 56 field offices, working to disrupt intruder intrusions.
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19 law enforcement military and intelligence agencies to stop current attacks and prevent future attacks. together with d.h.s. and n.h.a., we have cleared the road for response to significant cyber-intrusions. cyber-crime, as many other global crimes today, requires a global approach. in the cyber-arena, through f.b.i. atache offices, we are sharing information and coordinating investigations with our international counterparts. we have special agents, police departments, romania, ukraine, the netherlands to identify emerging trends and key players. at the same time we fully recognize that the private sector is the essential partner to protect our criminal infrastructure, and we share threat information in particular. let me turn for a moment to the f.b.i.'s criminal programs.
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the f.b.i.'s responsibilities range from complex white collar fraud to transnational criminal enterprises. from violent crime to public corruption. given limited resources, we must focus on those that come to the table. violent crime continues to exact a high toll on our communities. through task forces we identify and target the most dangerous of these criminal enterprises. to track and disrupt violence along the southwest border, we rely on our partners at the orgds drug enforcement task forces, and the el paso intelligence center. at the same time, we are required to and must remain vigilant to find and stop child predators.
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our mission in that regard is three-fold. first to decrease the vul nerability of children to exploitation. second to fight this through programs such as the child abduction preventative teams, and third, task force operations such as the innocence lost national initiatives. now in closing, i would like to turn to sequestration. the impact of sequestration on the f.b.i.'s ability to impact crime will be significant. in fiscal years 2013, the f.b.i.'s budget was cut by more than $550 million, and in fiscal year 2014 proposed cuts will total more than $700 million. not to mention, in 2013 the rescission of approximately 150
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additional million dollars. the ongoing hiring free will result in 200 vacancies at the f.b.i., with 100,000 additional vacancies in 2014. we also anticipate f furloughs for employees during the next fiscal year. i have long said people are the burrow's greatest asset. additional -- the buereau's greatest as set. this will impact the safety and security of our nation. with regard to nonpersonnel resources, the f.b.i. will have to forego or delay long-needed i.t. upgrades and will need technical tools to keep pace with our adversaries. we understand the need for reduction, but we would like to mitigate the most significant impacts of those cuts.
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chairman mikulski, i would like to thank you for your support to the bureau over the years i have been director and for your support of our office. our transpour formation over the last decade would not have been possible without not only your cooperation but your support. for that we in the bureau thank you. again, i look forward to any questions you may have. >> thank you, very much, director, for your testimony. i anticipate that other members will be joining this committee. all our appropriations subcommittees are holding hearings today, so everybody is spread a bit thin. i want to go to the reduction in 014 and the sequester even more.
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let me go to the consequences of your request and the consequences of sequestration in 2014 and 2013. we are already in a tight budget before sequester. >> yes. >> we already faced a reduction. >> but -- >> go ahead. >> in response to one of the comments senator shelby made, in terms of being a nimble f.b.i., and to continuously reprioritize , i would say we are working to do that. and we moved from a system where we went from what has been the impact on that particular threat? if that threat has been addressed, let's move on to something else. the fact s. we have two components when we cut.
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one is our people, which is a last resort, because it is our persons -- we don't have -- we're not like the military with aircraft carriers and ships and all the rest of that stuff. we have our people. the other part of it is infrastructure. we protect our people. when the cuts come, it comes in these other areas that are tremendously important to us, but are second to our people. as we address the cuts in 20134 and 2014, we will have to reprioritize to meet the cuts, but there will be things we would not be able to do that would keep us on track with what we have been able to accomplish in the last 11 years. >> let's go to that. because the the tools of
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technology, the technology that goes on in the laboratories you have at quantico, of course, are one thing. but the f.b.i. is linked to the agents, and literally the agents on the ground also working with state and local law enforcement. 6 so what will be the impact with the hiring freeze and what do you anticipate that you will not be able to do if you prioritize? in other words, what falls off? >> there are a number of things that fall off. one being the national gang enforcement center. gang intelligence which is critically important around the country. we will have to centralize that in this initiative and try to replicate many of its attributes with personnel assigned from
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head quarters. we will be losing several we have to cut down on personnel transfers and facilities reduction. we have 400 resident agencies around the country. we will have to look at agencies
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and see if we can combine some of those, but those agencies give us the capability of responding any place else in the country to a substantial federal crime. those are just some of the things that will be impacted by these budget cuts. >> what it seems like is in an effort to deal with the consequences, the needs don't go away. we're going to make due, but this is not deferg maintenance but like a dorm somewhere. but this is actually primarily personnel.
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after and senator shelby and i have -- senator shelby and i have a high record for the agents. the f.b.i. is home to premiere programs, like protecting children on the internet, but also the day-to-day work on the f.b.i., and the way they work with the joint task force, the way they work with the u.s. attorney, we have an integrated effort to protect the people of maryland against everything from mortgage fraud to counterfeit drug money coming in. we are working with the local law enforcement agency. again, these joint task forces are so crucial, and these are -- the threats come in at the local level. .
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devastating is too strong a word but demoralizing when you are faced with furlough, unable to pay your bills, working hard but the government has to furlough you because there is insufficient money to keep you on in the position that you're on.
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we take cuts elsewhere but furloughs will be last. >> do you anticipate that agents will be furloughed? >> yes. >> this is shocking. this is a self-inflicted wound. this is a self-inflected wound on us. this is not an external threat or organized crime is doing to us, this is what we're doing to ourselves. i think we have to find a solution to canceling sequester, not better managing sequester for this year and the next 10. that's the ultimately corrosive effect. >> thank you. director, boston, as you well know was the target of the terrorist attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260. i want to, first of all, commend the work of the f.b.i. and the state and local law enforcement for the response.
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they did an excellent job, i thought. aisle troubled by a reports that the danger posed, i hope i get the name right tamerlan tsarnaev was not identified because the government, again, was unable to connect the dots. we talked about this before in the intel area. it is disappointing sometimes that after 12 years and hundreds of billions of dollars in investments we're still discussing the government's inability to connect the dots when it is very important. would you walk us through, what you can here, what the f.b.i. knew about sandy -- tamerlan tsarnaev and not learning that he traveled to russia and the f.b.i. contends that it was not aware that he left the country. the boston globe identifies that investments we're still
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they generated a notification to the task force in boston. are you aware of that report? >> yes. >> do you agree or disagree with the report? >> i'm not specifically understanding the boston globe report, i understand the text notification that went out. >> what about the joint terrorism task force had received this information, what action could they have taken based on the f.b.i.'s inquiry of the subject? >> let me start, if i can -- >> yes, walk us through it if you can. >> c wk through 75% of it. but in 2011, march, we received notification from the russian
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authorities an an individual, tamerlan, the older brother and his mother had appeared to be a very religious and at least, as far as the older brother was concerned intent in returning and perhaps participanting in jihad in russia. they passed this information on to us for us to follow-up on. we initiated an assessment and a very good agent was assigned and they did the bagged -- background on tamerlan. he went and visited the college where he was registered for a period of time and did a thorough background on him then
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parents and finally interviewed tamerlan himself. as a result of this, a lead from the russian, we found no ties to terrorism. later that summer, in august we got back to the russians and indicated we did not find any ties. then in october, i think it was, we also went back to the russians on both occasions and on the third occasion we asked them if they had further information that would educate us or elaborate for us their conditions about this individual and we got no response. so assessment was closed without any further information. what you referred to was the travel that tamerlan took in january through july of 2012 where the russians had asked to
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be notified if he was traveling in what they call a text notice had gone to the task force to a good customs agent on the joint task force. we do not have any action that was taken on that particular notification. likewise, when he returned to the united states there was an automatic message that was pushed out and it came to the task force in that way and there was no additional action taken on that. it may have been because of the numerous inquiries that we handle. the task force handles hundreds of similar assessments and leads and the like on any given year. but to the extent that we go back and look and scrub and see
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what we could have done better this is an area that we're looking at it, scrubbing it, and doing better. will tell you, i do think we've improved our systems tremendously, dramatically, since september 11. to the extent, you can almost be assured in any event there is somebody, if they had some meetings or some participant, discussion or what have you in participanting in terrorists events they may have come across our radar screens but we would not have sufficient information from a variety of sources to confirm that. you also have occasion where is persons at one point in time, appear not to be radicalized but very quickly there after, after they are off your radar screen they become radicalized and you could not have anticipated on atacks like what we saw in boston >> some people fall through the crack, no system is perfect. maybe we'll learn from it.
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in april, the boston herald reported that the commonwealth fusion center was unaware that the f.b.i. interviewed tamerlan tsarnaev as part of an investigation as the russian agencies alerted u.s. officials to his increasing radicalization. it is my understanding that these entities are supposed to serve as clearing houses for information about potential threats. the fusion centers contend they are charged with helping to connect the dots, you know. given that the f.b.i. is responsible for the oversight of fusion centers, how would you characterize their role with respect to intelligence gathering, analysis, and desem
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nation? is it their reresponsibility to responsibility to connect the dots? share information, i know it is difficult. >> let me start by saying we don't supervise the fusion centers. >> who does? >> department of homeland security. >> you work with them but you're not their supervisor? >> right. in boston, between the joint terrorism task force and the fusion centers we have a close sharing relationship. if you talk to the persons who are participanting in this they would be very vocal in terms of how well we work together, which was in the response to the bombing of april 15. there was a question raised in testimony by one of the chiefs of police in boston about his knowledge about the interview with tamerlan. the fact of the matter is, the
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joint terrorism task force has state, local, law enforcement personnel on everyone one of those task forces. i think it is -- >> that makes sense, doesn't it? >> it does and that's exactly what we want. perhaps 40%, maybe more of task forces around the country are state and local law enforcement. now, what that joint terrorism task force and fusion center does is take in hundreds of threats over a period of time, particularly a year. they go through them the same way we went through this particular threat. others on the task force may have participanted in some way or shape, because it was not serious enough to be taken to the leadership. you would not take it to the chief of police or the head of the f.b.i. office. where you look at it with the finding of no association of terrorism. to the extent of this being pushed out of broken
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relationships and the like, to the contrary. i think if you talk to anyone in the boston task force, fusion center, state police, boston police station, they would say the relationship is excellent and the sharing is excellent as well. >> we still have to continue to work on sharing information on our law enforcement people, don't we? >> absolutely. >> since you have been director, we've gone through that for years and years and i know it is a challenge for you. it is a challenge for the c.i.a. and homeland security. the more you can work and fuse and share the safer we're going to be, aren't we? >> absolutely. i will tell you that every one of these incidents we go back and look at say what can we do better? in this particular incident handling the text notice is an area we're going to handle
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better the next time. >> let me get into another area. that is imimprovised explosive devices. the boston bombing highlighted what our troops have been encountering for years overseas. the devastation caused by i.e.d.'s. the threat from i.e.d.'s, you've talked about this before is widely recognized. in february, the white house released a report on the threat and established a new task force. in spite of the spotlight the administration placed on understanding and encountering i.e.d.'s, we know this is complicated and challenging. this fails to prioritize funding for the terrorist explosive device. i think it is essential to our understanding of i.e.d.'s and
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the war that is coming to this country. it is important following the bombing in boston. does the budget request ensure that it has sufficient resources necessary to complete its new facility and make substantial progress on the existing backlog? and how will the $150 million requested in the budget affect it if it does at all and can you detail too many? >> no, i think i can break it down. let me talk about that and the relationship and the utility during the boston crisis. immediately upon the explosions we had boston -- in boston our bomb techs out there with the
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bomb teches from state police and the others. we then flew down tour laboratory pieces, the fragments of the bombs as we picked them up and brought them down to lab in quantico. very quickly, within 24-48 hours we identified the mechanisms, the containers, the kind of black powder and the like that were utilized and then tracing the various components such as the pressure cookers to determine who would have purchased them and where. the bomb technicians served three roles during this period of time. the first one, a number of them i think there were five on scene that were helping to pull together the fragments. they then put together intelligence bulletins to provide the intelligence to others around the country as to what was seen in hopes that we would not see another one but if we did, someone would have an understanding of the device used
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here. the third area was the examination of the components and the tracing of the components. this was done by the staff. now, our future of the system, as you well know, we have the facility down at red stone arsenal that is fully financed through next year. at the end of 2014, it should house the system. the issues that are outstanding related to o.a.m. and maintaining this capabilities. let me add one thing and address one last thing, that is the backlog of reviewing the i.e.d.'s that have been forwarded to us from iraq and afghanistan.
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we have a database that provides intelligence to the military day in and day out and to the intelligence community around the world. we have used that backlog to identify individuals by fingerprints or d.n.a. or the method of the construction of the bombs who try to get into the united states or terrorists trying to get into other countries. but we have a backlog of devices that we have picked up over the years. but in other words to continue that process we need additional funds to run through that backlog. we had to prioritize but, again, this is one of the things that we prioritize with sequestration with the 2014 budget. we'll have to cut back substantially to address that backlog. >> but it should be a priority considering the threat to this country. >> yes. >> should it? >> yes. >> thank you. >> picking up on what senator
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shelby was asking, what we would call the focusing on the local law enforcement, the criminal aspects. i work locally but they are national crimes. mortgage fraud would be one. turning to the issues related to terrorism and counter terror itch -- counterterrorism. for the boston bombing, the first thing was to catch the bad guys. so there had to be a tremendous mobilization of law enforcement, which meant the f.b.i. was involved. on my first questions, i'm sure your first questions, the agents on the ground and the boston law enforcement was, number one, are they -- is this it?
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are they planning more attacks around boston? who are these people? are they part of a larger conspiracy, perhaps connected to al qaeda or al qaeda inspired? is the conspiracy in boston? is it going to occur in other parts of the united states? there were other marathons coming up. there was other international marathons coming up, i think it was the london marathon. so the f.b.i. had a major role. one, all the resources, technical as well as law enforcement, but also your role, i'm sure was called up to function internationally about nationally was going this going to be part of a larger threat? we don't want to go around canceling events and canceling marathons or whatever, etc.
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my question was everything had to be -- you can't dial up an agent. the reaction -- in other words in order to be effective you have to have the right agents in the right place doing the right thing with the right relationships. correct? >> yes. >> relationships are developed over time and if these agents are furloughed or if there is a hiring freeze it would have an impact on it, am i correct? >> absolutely. absolutely. >> what would have happened in boston if we were under a furlough? there are many things that work very well in boston and there's airs that -- areas that require us to go look at it again. >> if we were furloughed people would have been there even if they did not get paid. if you look at, if you're
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familiar with the incident down in alabama. it is having our persons negotiaters working with the sheriff and the district attorney down there and the hostage rescue team are bringing the important throments that particular case. that is not one we could have prepared for. the shooting in aurora, colorado. when i went out afterwards and talked to the chief and the special agent in charge, they told me we did so well on this case because we trained so well before. if you talk to the chief of police at the boston police department or the massachusetts state patrol or state police they will tell you that is the
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working together on the joint terrorism task forces that kicked into place when that happened on that monday. kudos to the first responders from boston to boston police and others that were responsible for security. they ran towards the danger and did not run away. together, we're remarkable and the capabilities and the success they had in serving persons' lives. it is developing those relationships before something like this happens is instrumental. when you have sequestration, when you have the budget cuts we do, what gets cut is training. training develops relationships and enables you to respond effectively to something like boston. >> this take me to the prevention part of it.
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i recall, when we were facing the sniper situation here in the north capitol region and the work of the f.b.i. and a.t.f. and the work with local law enforcement and the fantastic job that was done. we didn't have to "nationalize it." it involved two states and multiple counties and the way everybody worked together and i had the chance to observe it very up close and personal. it was an amazing effort of coordination. everybody was best at what they were best at, best at what they were needed for. ultimately, it was the federal agentcies that had the sources that we could identify it. so let's go -- this will be something we'll go into our classified area, which is the resources to prevent these. i think we'll save those for the
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classified hearing. but before i go, i just want to before we recess. when we think about where the f.b.i. was on september 10, 2001 and where we are today, it has been a remarkable transformation. it has occurred under your leadership, a phenomenal feat. you are to be commended. since 9/11, could you estimate how many terrorist attacks the f.b.i. has this warded? >> i would say over the last three or four years, it is close to 100 terrorist attacks. individuals who were thinking about or involved with or
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otherwise and that is just over the last four years. it depends on your definition of a terrorist attack. in the last three to four years at least, we've disrupted anywhere between 90-100 attack. >> each one of those would have caused casualties, would have had a massive impact on the economy. >> there's others that i could not go as far to say that because that was others who provide support but that is not the person who punches the button. i'm sorry, those figures are fairly accurate. >> senator, we were about to recess and go to the closed hearings. >> yes, ma'am. i will ask my questions there. i just want to thank you for your service, again director for all you've done.
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i know you work really hard to keep us safe so thank you. >> thank you, sir. >> we're going to encourage the other senators to go to the other meeting. this committee will recess and we'll reconvene in the visitors' center where we can proceed with the security brief and the other questions that senator -- senator collins we're about to go to our classified briefing. did you want to ask a question here or can it wait until we go over there? >> it can wait. >> let's recess, go over there and you have -- your time will be reserved. we know there are many there. the committee is in recess and we'll reconvene in 217. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> tomorrow a panel of journalists will talk about reporting on intelligence amidst the national security concerns with speakers including david singer, dana priest, and the former white house homeland security adviser to president george w. bush. live coverage begins monday at 11:00 a.m. eastern here on c- span. ♪ you feel about describing your science in 30 seconds? crocs i will make the attempt. imagine you had a yardstick, and you can't get into 10 equal pieces, and throw away nine.
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if you do this process 10 times, you get to the size of the adam. suppose you do that 35 times? what is left in the universe? we have been working on mathematics called string theory to answer that question. by people often asked who find out i am a theoretical what your husband actually does, and she says he makes up stuff for a living. that is almost right, but i prefer to say most people know what novelists do, takes words, sentences and makes characters. we use mathematics to make up our characters and tell our stories, and if we are really good at what we do our stories correspond to something that happened in nature. that little clip was my attempt to boil down to a 32nd
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soundbite -- 32nd soundbite what i and people in my community due to understand the world. >> more with s james gates junior. ."night, on "q&a >> eric holder testified on national security leaks, subpoenaed associated press phone records, and irs targeting conservative groups. this portion of the hearing is about one hour and 45 minutes. [indisrnible]
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>> when will you appoint a special envoy to guantánamo? it is a very important issue. >> we do not have order in the hearing room. members of the audience must behave in an orderly fashion or else they will be removed from the hearing room. rule 11 of the house rules provided the chairman of the committee may punish reaches of order by center on the hearing. this is your last warning.
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the committee will come to order. the chair is authorized to declare recesses of the committee at any time. we welcome everyone to hear -- we welcome everybody today. welcome, attorney general holder, to your sixth appearance before the house judiciary committee since your confirmation in 2009. we are happy to have you here with us today. last month, the city of boston and the nation as a whole was gripped with fear as the historic boston marathon, traditionally a day of celebration, was attacked by twin explosions that killed three people and injured more than 250. dzhokhar tsarnaev and his older brother, tamerlan tsarnaev set off the explosions, then shot and killed mit police officer sean collier and seriously wounded boston transit police officer richard donohue while
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attempting to elude capture. tamerlan died after a fierce gun battle with police and dzhokhar eventually surrendered after sustaining serious injuries himself. i would like to commend the fbi, and all of the federal, state and local law enforcement agents who worked tirelessly to identify the bombers and apprehend dzhokhar. the patriots day attack in boston shows us that domestic terror threats are real, ongoing, and can have deadly consequences. in 2010, fbi director mueller and other intelligence officials warned us that domestic and lone-wolf extremists are now just as serious a threat to our safety as al-qaeda. we have been fortunate that, until april 15th of this year, previous domestic terror plots have been foiled. the bombings in boston remind us that the terror threat has not diminished, but that it is ever- present and evolving.
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it is critical that congress, and this committee in particular, ensure that our ability to detect, deter, and prosecute these threats keeps pace with this evolution. to that end, i look forward to hearing from you today about ways that congress can amend the federal rules for criminal cases to make sure that we are able to prosecute terrorism cases, while still allowing law enforcement to learn critical information to stop future attacks. i am also concerned about reports that in the years leading up to the boston attack, several different federal agencies or departments received intelligence about the bombers. these agencies did not connect the dots -- and this is not the first time this has happened in recent years. the question that the administration and we in congress need to address is whether there are any improvements that can be made going forward to facilitate
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inter-agency information sharing, so that we can better thwart future domestic terrorists. i am also interested to hear today about how the department intends to tighten its belt in a responsible way during this time of fiscal uncertainty. i was pleased to hear that the department was ultimately able to prioritize its spending to avoid furloughing federal agents and prison guards in response to the sequester, which reduced the department's more than $27 billion budget by approximately 5 percent. however, after learning of elaborate conferences with $12 cups of coffee, $10,000 pizza parties, and a vast array of duplicative grant programs, i am confident that there are many ways the department can root out waste and duplication without harming critical missions. with our national debt at more than $16 trillion, the american people deserve no less. i am also deeply concerned about a pattern i see emerging at the department under your leadership in which conclusions reached by
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career attorneys after thorough investigation are overruled by administration appointees for political reasons. for instance, investigators from this committee and the oversight and government reform committee have uncovered conclusive evidence that assistant attorney general tom perez, against the strong recommendations of career attorneys, struck a secret deal with the city of st. paul in order to block the supreme court from freely and >> that is not correct information. >> the gentleman will have his opportunity to speak at a later time. this secret deal undermined the rule of law and robbed the american taxpayers of the opportunity to recover over $200 million fraudulently obtained funds.
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what is more, the new york times recently reported that political appointees at the department, over the vehement objections of career attorneys, decided to commit as much as $4.4 billion in taxpayer money to compensate thousands of farmers who had never claimed bias in court. a small group of female and hispanic farmers, based on claims similar to those in pigford, had made allegations that the department of agriculture had discriminated against them in administering its loan programs. however, according to the times, career attorneys within the department determined that there was no credible evidence of widespread discrimination, that the legal risks did not justify the costs, and that it was legally questionable to sidestep congress and compensate the farmers out of the judgment fund. just last week we learned that irs employees have admittedly targeted conservative groups for additional and unwarranted
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scrutiny, just because they chose to exercise their first amendment rights. this is outrageous, and congress and the american people expect answers and accountability. finally, just two days ago it was revealed that the justice department obtained telephone records for more than 20 associated press reporters and editors over a two-month period. these requests appear to be very broad and intersect important first amendment protections. any abridgement of the first amendment right to the freedom of the press is very concerning, and members of the committee want to hear an explanation from you today. i look forward to hearing your answers on all of these important topics today, as well as on other issues of significance to the justice department and the country >> thank you. today is peace officer's memorial day. i would like to begin by honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in serving our nation. the fallen officers who selflessly defend our streets,
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and keep our community safe. as flags fly at half staff, our thoughts turn to these brave law-enforcement officers and officials. i think each and every officer whether dedicated public service. members of the committee, first with respect to the government subpoena of phone records at the associated press, i am troubled by the notion that our government would pursue such a broad array of media phone records over such a long. time. at the same time, i know that the attorney general himself has recused himself on the investigation. we will hear more about that. policy questions on this topic are fair.
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i want you to know that i intend to reintroduce the free flow of information, which passed the house floor with overwhelming support bipartisan in both the 110th and 111th congress. we hope to do so with the continued support of members of this committee on the other side of the aisle. this federal press shield bill would require the government to show cause before they make -- may compel disclosure of this sort of information from or about a news media organization. it is a commonsense measure that has comparable revisions in 49 other states, and the district of columbia.
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i would also note that the free flow of information act that protects the media against overbroad government investigation, that has been commented publicly by many members of the congress, as well as the administration. we have all learned that some employees at irs appeared to have improperly targeted tea party groups as they applied for tax exempt status. no one takes allegations of discriminatory enforcement of the law more seriously than myself. i thank the attorney general for opening an investigation to uncover any criminal activity. then there is the issue no
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important than the continuing mission to ensure the safety and security of the american public. the department and local law enforcement are to be commended for -- in the boston bombings. i have no doubt, mr. attorney general, that you and -- your investigation will carefully consider guests in our counterterrorism efforts that need to be addressed. i also want to commend the department of justice and the fbi for their committed to the most powerful counterterrorism tools in our arsenal. military commissions have a
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troubled track record. and convicted only seven individuals, and have never successfully prosecuted a u.s. citizen. mr. attorney general, your commitment to the rule of law in this matter is to be commended, not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because it keeps us safer. i would like to recognize the dedication to enforcement and civil rights, and voting under the law. under your leadership, and under the leadership of the assistant
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attorney general, tom perez, the department has obtained 600 and 60 million -- $660 million, including the largest settlement in the department's history. a $120 million award recovery in an employment discrimination case. secured $60 million as a part of a settlement to enforce the american with disabilities act. last year alone, the civil rights division of the department of justice opened 43 new voting rights cases, more
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than twice the number that -- than any previous year am a 13 additional objections to the discrimination voting practices under section five of the voting rights act. all this has been done with devastating reductions in the department budget that i will put in the record. and of course, sequester, which further aggravates this problem. that means that the cuts will effect our first responders, fewer cases brought to court, fewer police officers on the street, your resources dedicated to keeping our citizens safe. so, i look forward to you elaborating on those issues
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raised by the chairman of the committee, and myself, and i suspect that you will be more raised by the chairman of the committee, and myself, and i suspect that you will be more than five minutes to do so. i thank you, mr. chairman. i returned my time. >> i thank the gentleman for his opening statement. without objection, other opening statements will be made part of the record. further aggravates this problem. the chair the authorized to declare during votes on the house floor. we again thank our only witness, the attorney general of the united states for joining us today. if you would please rise, i will begin by swearing you in. do you swear the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth truth, so help you god? thank you, and let the record reflect that mr. holder responded in the affirmative.
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on february 3, 2009, general holder was sworn in as the 82nd attorney general of the united states. he has enjoyed a long career in both the public and the private sectors, first joining the department of justice or the attorney general's honors program in 1976. he became one of the department's first attorney to serve in the of integrity section. he served as a judge in the superior court of the district of columbia, and the united state's attorney for the district of columbia. in 1997, he was named president clinton to be the deputy attorney general. he was a litigation partner at the covington and birmingham law firm in washington. he is a graduate of columbia university, and columbia school of law. we appreciate your presence today, and look forward to your testimony. he your entire written statement
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will be entered into the record. we ask that you summarize your testimony in five minutes. we will appreciate as close to that mark is you can keep. the time is yours. >> good afternoon, chairman i appreciate this opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the justice department's recent achievements, to provide an overview of our top priorities, and to join with you the department has taken critical steps to prevent and combat violent crime, to confront national security threats, to ensure the civil rights of everyone in this country, and to safeguard the most vulnerable members of our
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society. thanks to the extraordinary efforts of my colleagues -- the nearly 116,000 dedicated men and women who serve in justice department offices around the world -- i'm pleased to report that we've established a remarkable record of progress in expanding our nation's founding promise of equal justice under law, and ensuring the safety and security of our citizens. the need to continue these efforts -- and to remain vigilant against a range of evolving threats -- was brought into sharp focus last month, in the most shocking of ways, when a cowardly terrorist attack in boston left three innocent people dead and hundreds injured. in the days that followed -- thanks to the valor of state and local police, the dedication of federal law enforcement and intelligence officials, and the cooperation of members of the public -- those suspected of carrying out this terrorist act were identified. one suspect died following a shootout with police and the other has been brought into custody and charged in federal court with using a weapon of mass destruction. three others have been charged in connection with the investigation of this case, which is active and ongoing. as we continue working to achieve justice on behalf of the
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citizens and brave law enforcement officers who were injured or killed in connection with these tragic events -- and to hold accountable, to the fullest extent of the law, all who were responsible for this heinous attack -- i want to assure you that my colleagues and i are also committed to strengthening our broader national security efforts. over the past four years, we've identified, investigated, and disrupted multiple potential plots involving foreign terrorist organizations as well as homegrown extremists. we've secured convictions -- and tough sentences -- against numerous individuals for terrorism-related offenses. we've utilized essential intelligence-gathering and surveillance capabilities in a manner that's consistent with the rule of law, and with our most treasured values. beyond this work, my colleagues and i are enhancing our focus on
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a variety of emerging threats and persistent challenges -- from drug trafficking and transnational organized crime, to cyber-threats and human trafficking. we're moving to ensure robust enforcement of antitrust laws, to combat tax fraud schemes, and to safeguard the environment. we're building on the significant progress that's been made in identifying and thwarting financial and health care-related fraud crimes. for example, in fy 2012, our fraud detection and enforcement efforts resulted in the record- breaking recovery and return of roughly $4.2 billion. over the last three fiscal years alone -- thanks to the president's financial fraud enforcement task force and its federal, state, and local partners -- we have filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases thwarting financial and health against nearly 14,500 defendants, including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. as these actions prove, our resolve to protect consumers and seek justice against any who would take advantage of their fellow citizens has never been stronger.
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the same can be said of the department's vigorous commitment to the enforcement of key civil rights protections. since 2009, this commitment has led our civil rights division to file more criminal civil rights cases than ever before -- including record numbers of human trafficking cases. using new tools and authorities, including the matthew shepard and james byrd, jr. hate crimes prevention act, we've improved our ability to safeguard our civil rights and pursue justice for those who are victimized because of their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. we will continue working to guarantee that -- in our workplaces and military bases; in our housing and lending
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markets; in our schools and places of worship; in our immigrant communities and our voting booths -- the rights of all americans are protected. but all of this is only the beginning. as we look toward the future, my colleagues and i are also determined to work closely with members of congress to secure essential legislative changes -- including commonsense steps to prevent and reduce gun violence, and comprehensive legislation to fix our nation's broken immigration system. it's long past time to allow the estimated 11 million individuals who are here in an undocumented status to step out of the shadows, to guarantee that all are playing by the same rules, and to require responsibility from everyone -- both undocumented workers and those who hire them. like many of you, i am encouraged to see that these basic principles are reflected in the bipartisan reform proposal that is currently being
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considered by the senate. the department will do all it can to help strengthen that proposal, and to advance a constructive, responsible dialogue on this issue. i understand that this committee and other members are working on immigration reform proposals as well, and i look forward to working with you as those efforts move forward to enact comprehensive reforms. however, i must note that our capacity to continue building upon the department's recent progress is threatened by the long-term consequences of budget sequestration and joint committee reductions, which will worsen in fiscal year 2014, unless congress adopts a balanced deficit reduction plan. should congress fail to do so, i fear that these reductions will undermine our ability to deliver justice for millions of americans, and to keep essential public safety professionals on the job. we cannot allow this to happen. unless congress adopts a this afternoon, i ask for your support in preventing these cuts and ensuring that the department has the resources it needs to fulfill its critical missions. i thank you, once again, for the chance to discuss our current efforts with you today. and i would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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i see i did not make my five minutes. >> your consideration was good. you were close. we thank you for your opening statement. we will proceed with questions under the five-minute rule. i will recognize myself or five minutes. you in fact addressed in your remarks my first question, which deals with the troubling information that was received by the fbi, and other agencies of the government prior to the boston marathon bombings, but it does not appear the information was received by all of the pertinent parties, particularly the fbi, which i conducted an investigation prior to the trip to russia. but not after. we would like to continue to work with you and know what the department is doing to adopt procedures for handling hits and relevant databases and making sure the information between agencies is improved. we survey want to work with you
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in that regard. there is an ongoing investigation as you know. i think generally the fbi did a good job in acquiring information to the extent that it could. i am not certain that all of the responses, request that were made to the foreign country by the fbi were replied to. i think that is one of the problems that we have. this is a matter that is ongoing. >> in 2010, this relates to the aftermath of the arrest of -- you indicated strong support for moderating the rules so invesco does cu -- specifically you said in 2010, we are now dealing with international terrorists, and i think that we have to think about modifying the rules that interrogators have, and coming up with something that is
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flexible, and is more consistent with the threat that we now face. can you articulate how the department would fix the relevant rules, and would you be willing to work with members of the committee to ensure that our criminal roles are up to the task of handling terrorist questions, particularly this issue of how long the fbi or other law-enforcement in question somebody about imminent threats. there is a supreme court case recognizing that, but it collides with another. that causes confirmation about the completion of the questioning by future events, other conspirators, and the location of bombs another equivalent related to this task. >> there is a tension between the public safety exception as defined in the rule five of the
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rules of criminal procedures. there was a proposal that we floated out there, that i talked about, that i would prefer to do is work with members of congress who are interested in looking at the world as we have seen it now. the case that with somebody that that -- where is the gun? the reality is that we deal with terror suspects that are much more broad questions that we need to ask, information you need to know. who was involved in this matter? are there explosive devices that we need to know about? threats that are going to happen today, or next two or three days? we need for an expensive -- would be appropriate. i think this requires something that would pass constitutional muster. >> it was reported by the justice department obtained two months of telephone records of more than 20 reporters and editors with the associated
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press, including both work and personal phone lines. there is a lot of criticism raised about the scope of this investigation, including why the department needed to subpoena records for 20 people over a two-month period. why was such a broad scope approved? >> a lot of criticism. the rnc called my resignations by the fact that i was not personally involved in that decision. be that as it may, i was recused in that manner. i held the decision to issue the subpoena made by the people who were presently involved in the case, with matters being supervised by the deputy itinerary -- attorney general. i am not -- i am sadly not a
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not a part of the case. >> it is my understanding that the requirements for compelling process from a media outlet is to give the outlook notice. do you know know why that was not done? >> there are exceptions to the rule. i do not know with regard to this particular case why that was our was not done. i do not have a factual basis to answer that question. >> it is reported that the associated press refrain from leasing this story for a week until the department and from the but doing so would not jeopardize national security interest. that indicates the ap was amenable to working with you on this matter. if that was the case, why was it necessary to subpoena the records? did you seek the assistance in the first place question mark why not? >> i do not know. i do not know what happened there with interactions between the ap and the justice department. i was recused from the case. >> you or others in the justice department will be forthcoming with those answers to those questions as you explore why this was handled with what
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appears to be contrary to the law in standard procedure. >> again, there are exceptions to some of the rules that you pointed out. i have faith in the people who actually were responsible for this case three they were aware of the roles, and they follow them. i do not have a factual basis to answer the questions because i was recused. i do not know what has happened in this matter. >> thank you. my time has expired. and i recognize the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers. >> thank you. i note that some of our members have been outspoken about the opposition to the free flow of information act. and have commented publicly about their outrage over the associated press subpoenas.
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but now, i'm very delighted to learn that many have changed their attitudes. i'm particularly glad to welcome the support of chairman darrell issa as we move forward with this legislation. mr. attorney general, there has been criticism about tom perez as assistant attorney general, and that he may have mismanaged employees at the civil rights division in the department of justice. are you able to comment on mr. perez's track record of the division, an allegation that he
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politicized enforcement of civil rights laws? >> i think that tom perez has been an outstanding assistant attorney general for the civil rights division. he will be a great secretary of labor. there has been reports done that looked at the condition of the civil rights division. there have been reports, issued in 2008, and those findings are really important. the enforcement of voting rights laws during the administration was not based on improper racial or political considerations. the hiring practices were not politically motivated. found there was no basis to believe that the voting section politicizes. there have been indications that people in the voting section in
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particular have not gotten along with these others too well. i think if you look at tom perez's record, the record number of cases brought against police departments that acted inappropriately, record amounts of money recovered in discrimination suits, voting rights cases, he has done a we expect of a person who would have the civil rights division, which i think is the conscience of the justice department. he has done an outstanding job, and deserves to be confirmed as secretary of labor. >> there has been a lot of discussion about banks being too big to prosecute. much of the sagging economy that
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we are climbing out of is a direct result of wall street intransigence. and, perhaps, improper conduct and activity. can you distinguish between cases that we might bring against those on wall street, who cause the financial crisis, responsible in a large part, have we fashioned the economic system in which we have banks that are too big to prosecute, the department of justice has got to look at this very carefully. >> let me make something clear. i made a statement in a senate hearing that i think has been misconstrued. i said it was difficult at times to bring cases against large
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financial institutions because the potential consequences that they would have on the financial system. let me make it very clear that there is no bank, no institution, no individual who cannot be investigated and prosecuted by the united states department of justice. as i indicated, we have brought thousands of financial cases over the last 4.5 years. there are number of factors which take into consideration. let me be very clear. banks are not too big to jail. if we can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, those cases will be brought. >> thank you, very much.
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>> the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin, for five minutes. >> thank you for coming. i would like to try to pin down who authorized these subpoenas for ap. the cfr is pretty specific. did the deputy attorney do that? >> i assume he did. the recusal's are such that i do not have -- the attorney general has to authorize the subpoena in my absence. deputy attorney general would act as the acting attorney general. >> do you know if he is interviewed in the investigation that has caused your refusal? >> i do not know. i do not know.
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i assume he was. i do not know. >> why were you interviewed? were you a witness or was this a part of your official duties as attorney general? >> i was interviewed as one of the people who had access to the information that was a subject of the investigation. i along with other members of the national security division recused myself. the head of the security division was left. we all recused ourselves. i recused myself because i thought it would be inappropriate, and have a bad appearance to be a person who was a witness in the case, to actually lead the investigation given the fact that i have a great interaction with members of the press. >> how does that make you a fact witness if you are getting
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the product that are looking into a matter? you would be a policy person on deciding whether or not to proceed with subpoenas, or ultimately signing off on an indictment. >> i was a possessor of the that was ultimately lead to. the question is, who of those people who possess that information come up relatively limited number of people, who of those people actually spoke in an inappropriate way to members of the associated press. >> who else had access to the information? >> this is an ongoing investigation. i would not want to reveal what i know. i do not know if there are other people who of been developed as possible recipients. >> i am trying to find out who authorized the subpoena. you cannot tell me that the
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deputy attorney general authorized the subpoena. somebody has to authorize the subpoena. this was supposed to go as close to the top as possible. >> what i am saying is, i cannot say as a matter of fact. i have to assume, and i would probably 95% certain, the deputy attorney general acting in my stead was the one who authorized the subpoena. >> the code of federal regulations is specific that there should be negotiations prior to the issuance of the subpoena with the news media organizations involved. the ap said there is no negotiations at all. there are two different parts of the regulation that may be in conflict with each other. one is more generic than the other. there were no negotiations whatsoever.
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why weren't there negotiations? >> that i do not know. there are exceptions to that rule that said if the integrity of the investigation might be impacted him of the negotiations i do not know why that didn't happen. >> hasn't somebody said that the integrity of the investigation would not be impacted with negotiations, either under subsection c, which is generic, or subsection d, which is more specific? >> i do not know. let me say this, we have in fact confirmed that the deputy was one who authorized the subpoena. >> we are going to have to talk to him about this. mr. attorney general, i think that this committee has been frustrated for at least the last 2.5 years, if not the last 4.5 years. there doesn't seem to be any acceptance of responsibility in the justice department for things that have gone wrong. may i suggest that you, and maybe mr. cole and a few other
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people, go to the truman library and take the picture of the thing that he had on his death, his desk that said the book -- the buck stops here. we do not know where the buck stops very i think to do adequate oversight, with better find out, and find how this happened. i yield back. >> i think the gentleman. the chair recognizes the general from new york. >> i want to speak to three subjects in the time that i have. i have no doubt that we have already been hearing much about the department of justice probe ap records. we should with this in contextand remember that less than a year ago, this committee
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leadership demanded investigation into leaks accusing the administration of sharing those leaks. then, members of this committee wanted to report subpoenas put in front of grand juries, and jail for contemporary of course it is now -- and be jailed for contempt. they should not distract us from legitimate questions where these congressional oversight, including whether the espionage act has been inappropriately used, whether there is a need for a press shield, and congress surveillance authority and immunity that some of my republican colleagues supported and before today and have been unwilling to re-examine. those are questions we have to examine. to switch topics, this was brought up already. the committee has engaged in a relentless unfounded and grossly
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unfair attack on the leadership and integrity of tom perez. i would like to give you an opportunity to address two questions. first, can you comment on assistant attorney general's background briefly. >> he has been an outstanding head of the civil rights division. you look at the giants of the department in that regard, you think of john doerr. i think 50 years from now people will look back on tom perez's time and compare him to someone john doerr. >> thank you. my colleagues have mentioned that john perez has a dubious
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bargain, whereby he convince the city to withdraw its appeal, and agree not to intervene in a false claims act against the city. the minority opinion is that the assistant attorney general did nothing wrong, and appropriately carried out his duties as the stewardess of the civil rights division, and that it was senior career officials in the civil division who overruled junior career officials in the civil division, and ruled that that claims case was a bad case, a weak case, and that the department should not -- although they did not prevent the complainant to continue, and that there was nothing inappropriate in making a decision because hard facts, bad
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facts -- was anything inappropriate done in this matter? >> i do not think so. the city reached out consideration was given to the actions that were taken. mr. perez consulted with the ethical people, legal and and ethical people to make sure that the course of action was sound. he consulted with ethical people within the ethical rights division to make sure it reaction to his proposing were ethically sound. what was done was in the best interest of the people of the united states. >> thank you. with respect to guantanamo, there are restrictions on the administration with respect to detainees still being held. what actions can the president take on his own to ensure that we bring these individuals to justice through trial or find
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another way? i take it that it is wrong and unworthy of the united states to grab individuals that we believe to be terrorist and never try them and never release them. it is wrong to hold people indefinitely for life without any charges. and, in fact, especially since any of them have been declared by our own government to post no risk. what can we do to avoid the situation where without any claim of right at all, the u.s. indefinitely holds people in jail with no due process and with no trial? >> we should close guantanamo.
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we had a situation in yemen at the time. that is something we need to review. we need to revitalize efforts to get the representatives to go to different countries. find alternative places for people when their own countries will not accept them. looking at guantanamo and making a determination to see who can be released and who needs to be tried and who needs to be held under the law of order. the -- laws of war. i think have set up a great job in that regard. circumstances have been made difficult, but not impossible to move people out of guantanamo. the president has indicated we will take new action in that regard.
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>> the time has expired. the chair would note that the committee has requested the appearance of the assistant attorney general and head of the civil rights division. mr. perez did testify and answer numerous questions that have been posed about his activities. he has refused the committee's request. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina for five minutes. >> thank you. good to have you on the hill today. i want to visit benghazi for a moment. some recent days ago, the former secretary of state hillary clinton appeared at a senate hearing. she was asked about her comment concerning the libyan tragedy. she responded, "what difference does it make?"
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i went to the house floor in early february. i could assure mrs. clinton that it makes a difference to the survivors and the four americans who were killed that day in benghazi. having said that, mr. attorney general, can you give us an update on where the fbi's investigation of benghazi stands today? >> i cannot be definitive other than to say the investigation is ongoing. we are at a point where we have taken steps that are definitive and concrete. we will be prepared to review all we have done. >> thank you. last month, mr. attorney general, the wake of the boston bombings, you warned against
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retaliation against muslims and other groups. can you share with us specific reasons for giving this warning and actual instances of retaliation linked to boston for which the department was not aware? >> we have seen in the past where people who perceived as muslims might not have been and who were attacked as a result of incidents that might have happened. the statement i was making was simply for people not to let emotions, stereotypical actions come into play ando ople who are muslim received to be muslim might somehow be physically harmed.
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>> thank you. this shifting of gears -- my visibility is blocked -- i like to see you and you see me when we are responding. i forgot what i was going to ask. it will come back to me. well, maybe it won't. [laughter] i still have time. i will try to get through here. this is decision and north carolina retroactively applied could result in released felons. members of my staff have been in touch with members of your staff. do you have a comment on this? if not, maybe we can get together substantively. are you familiar with this? >> yes.
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it depends on the prior conviction. we know it is only a misdemeanor and it has caused some problems. we have to balance a notion of fundamental fairness and protection of the public from people who are really dangerous. we want to look at the facts and determine what lease is warranted and the ability to perhaps work with you and members of your staff in this regard. it would he something approach it. i think it is essentially a law enforcement matter, but some guidance you have in this regard would be appreciated. >> the exchange between your staff and mine has been favorable. thank you. mr. chairman, i hope you would
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note that the red light has not yet appeared in i am yielding back. >> the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott. >> thank you. on the internal revenue situation, i think we can all agree that the congress report says that they were denying people their proper allegation considering their -- this bipartisan agreement that you should not be able to do that. you said this is a criminal investigation. there were criminal laws against denial of civil rights back in 1983. there is a specific irs code that says any officer or employee of the u.s. acting in connection with any violation of the law in the u.s. who with an intent to defeat application of any provision of this title failed to perform duties of his
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office or employment. it goes on to show if you violate this, it is a five-year penalty. are there any gaps in the code that will make it difficult to you to pursue criminal actions if you find that irs agents were denying benefits under the tax code based on politics? >> that is a good question. i think we're going to have to get into the investigation for i can answer that question more intelligently. if there are enforcement gaps found, we will let this committee know. it was outrageous, as i have said. we have to bring criminal action to make sure that this kind of activity does not happen again.
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>> under the fair sentencing act, we went from 100-118 under the differential [indiscernible] is the department of justice reviewing incentives? >> we are looking at -- i have put together a working group to look at exactly who we have imprisoned in our bureau of prisons. to make sure we are holding the appropriate people for appropriate lengths of time and see if there are any changes we need to make. i think we are above the age of 80 in the federal prison system. i have about 35 over the age of 85. there might be good reasons why
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they should serve the rest of their lives in jail. it might be that there is a basis for them to be released -- we are looking at what our prison population looks like. whether policies should be changed. perhaps compassionate release and how we should use that. we can save money by releasing people a little before their time. we would only do so without endangering the public safety. we're looking at in a broad way. >> thank you. apparently since 1965, you could not discriminate based on race, color, creed, or sex. there is a new idea that some kind of exemptions are awarded that allows some faith-based organizations to discriminate based on religion with federal money. how do you decide who can discriminate with federal money based on religion?
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>> i think what we want to try to do is make sure that no inappropriate discrimination occurs. we have talked about this since before i was sworn in. >> there is discrimination going on. let me get one more question in. the effects of the sequester on the judicial branch, public defenders, and other core personnel are being furloughed. what effect does that have on the administration of justice? >> that is a good question. i met with chiefs of district courts, and they have asked me to be their voice. judges do not get a chance to speak in the way that i do. as we consider this whole
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problem, and it is a problem, of sequestration. we take into account the impact it has on our courts. we want to have the court system that we need to have due process criminal cases. if you want to assess people for probation and incarceration, the court has to have sufficient funds to do so. they are in a very bad way and regard to the situations that exist now and the situation that will exist in 2014. thinking of the sequester, everyone needs to remember the court system. >> the time has expired. the chair recognizes the former chairman of the committee, the gentleman from texas, mr. smith. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, mr. attorney general. we have announced a full investigation into the allegation that irs had unfairly targeted conservative organizations. i'm sure that you agree that in the federal government, the
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federal government targets individuals or organizations because of their political leaning that it is a threat to our democracy and quite a violation of an individual or organization's first amendment rights. so far we have allegations involving four cities -- cincinnati, d.c, and two california cities where irs agents might have targeted conservative groups. it so happens a year ago i wrote the commissioner of the irs asking him to look into what appeared to be targeted actions by the irs against the san antonio tea party. is your investigation going to go beyond cincinnati and ohio? will it be a national investigation that includes washington, d.c. as well and any allegations where they might occur?
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>> yes, it would. the facts will take us wherever they take us. it is not just one city. we will go wherever the facts lead us. >> you will go nationwide? >> this is something we will base in washington. that way we can have a better impact nationwide. >> without saying whether any criminal laws have been broken, what are some possible criminal laws that would have been violated if in fact individuals or organizations work targeted for their conservative views? >> i think it was congressman scott who put his finger on it for the potential civil rights. >> do you know of any criminal laws that might have been violated? >> criminal violations in the civil rights statutes of the irs, there is a possibility of thousands of false statements
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and violations that might have been made given at least at this point. >> it makes it a crime to deprive anyone of rights or privileges for anything guaranteed under the constitution. the mixing a crime for government employees to deprive taxpayers of their honest services. a couple of examples. what civil recourse might be obtained by individuals or organizations that were unfairly targeted for the conservative beliefs? >> of that, i'm not sure. >> i think it is possible they might be able to collect any expenses they incurred. does that sound likely to you? >> it is possible. in other instances where someone
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tried a criminal case and has been acquitted, they can get the costs back in time. >> you responded to a letter that i wrote to you last year and regard to the anti-lobbying act that was amended in 2002. you have said in your response to me that the act prohibits the use of appropriated funds to influence officials of any government. does that apply to health and human services grantees who might use those dollars to lobby state and local officials? >> i'm sorry. i did not hear the last part. >> you responded to my letter in regards to the anti-lobbying act which was amended in 2002. you said the use of inappropriate funds -- my question to you, does your
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statement and evaluation of anti-lobbying act apply to health and human services grantees who might have used those dollars to lobby state and local governments? >> i think you might be referring to what i have only read in the newspapers. i do not know whether or not which funds are being used are whether that letter would apply to the effort. i do not know. >> can you get that to me? would you get back to me as to why you think it should not apply to health and human government agencies that might be grantees that would use it to lobby local and state? >> we will try to get back to you in a more timely fashion. >> that would be appreciated. thank you. >> the gentleman from north
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carolina. >> thank you. >> you're only supposed to do that at your confirmation hearing, bringing your kids. [laughter] >> i just have a question regarding intellectual property. the administration has called upon congress to make illegal and should be sure my streaming a felon. can you describe what has been done to combat copyright infringement and how would classifying streaming as a felony enhance the department's efforts in this area?
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>> i think what we are looking for is an extended set of tools so we can have the prosecution and an effort consistent with the nature. all it does now is to have a misdemeanor charge. sometimes these crimes involve thousands and potentially millions of dollars for a felony prosecution might be appropriate. they're not saying we should only have a felony capability, but we should have a capability that we could take into account the nature of the crimes are looking at. >> according to world customs organization's, international sales of counterfeit goods is a multibillion dollar industry. many of the sales increasingly made over the internet where criminals can hide their identities -- [baby making sounds] [laughter]
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where criminals can hide their identities and elude capture. what steps has the department made to educate the public on risk posed by these illicit sales? >> i'm sorry? >> what steps has the department made to educate the public on the safety and security risk posed by illicit sales of internet theft property? >> oh, i see. that is a problem we have tried to focus on in terms of educational efforts. there are medicines stolen that puts the public at risk. we have found some airplanes that were inappropriately made.
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what we try to do is educate the public and businesses about the dangers that flow from the theft of intellectual property. >> the increasing indications of links between this problem and terrorism? have you found any links? >> yes. that is a good question. it is something that is very worrisome. we saw organized crime get into a variety of businesses in order to support their efforts. we are seeing terrorist groups getting into the theft of intellectual property. it means that we have to broaden our enforcement efforts and the vested efforts to examine the efforts to pull our engaging in
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this intellectual property theft. we need to consider whether there is a terrorist connection. that is a relatively new phenomenon. but one that we need to be aware of. >> are there steps that would recommend that congress can consider to check the growth of this industry? >> yes. there is something i think we need to work with members with this committee and congress on. i'm concerned about the theft of intellectual property to support terrorist activity. in those instances, enhanced penalties might be appropriate. that is something that we can consider. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and nico thanks you. we yield our time. >> and very effective
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questioning by nico. >> this is my grandson for everyone's information. >> and a proud grandfather. >> there was a tone at the top. it was incorporated by reference in the dodd frank. do you believe the same rigorous standards of conduct and enforcement should be applied to public and private entities? do you think the government should be held accountable to a separate set of standards and corporations? or do you think standards should be the same?
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>> the public trust should be involved as opposed to private interest. should apply to all levels of those of us who serve in government. >> the person at the top in a business -- and i think it would apply to government as well -- even if he or she did not necessarily know what the people under him or her was up to and be held accountable under -- for example, even if they did not know what the people under them are doing all the time, this administration currently has at least three scandals swirling around it. one is misleading the american people on benghazi. number two is the irs discriminating and targeting conservative groups for special
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treatment. three, seizing phone records of the associated press reporters. many people are calling it a scandal. i think all three probably are. when the story broke last week about the conservative groups being targeted by the irs and given special treatment, word was spun by the administration that this was out in cincinnati and not in washington. i happen to represent cincinnati in the united states congress. i have for the 17 of the last 19 years. i know you're not the secretary of the treasury. you know an awful lot of stuff. i assume that you are aware that
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cincinnati handles exempt organizations all across the country and not just in the local area. do you know that? >> i'm not aware that. we are at the beginning of the investigation. i'm not sure how irs is constructed. i will take you at your word. >> ok. you're not at the conclusion. you still have a lot to learn. do you think this was some low level irs workers who decided to harass or examine with great scrutiny conservative groups, tea party organized nations, patriot groups, 9/12 groups? groups that were concerned that the government was too big and too intrusive? do you think these were some low level folks?
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>> i simply do not know at this stage. we have just begun the investigation. it will take time to determine exactly who was involved. this whole notion of these 501c4 groups, i think some inquiry into that area is appropriate, but it has to be done in a way that does not depend on the political persuasion of the group. >> let me ask you this -- who does that cincinnati irs officer answer to? >> i assume the folks in washington. >> i will conclude because i am almost out of time. i believe there has been a pattern by this administration in not taking responsibility for
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failures and avoiding blame and pointing the finger at somebody else. would you agree with that? >> no. >> i thought you might say that. i think a lot of people do, including myself. i think a lot of members on this committee might be divided. these are very significant things that have occurred. i strongly encourage this administration to get out front and let all of the chips fall where they may. that is in the best interest of the administration. i yield back my time. >> i agree with the last part of the statement. it is why i ordered the investigation last friday. it seemed to me that there was a need for a review given the potential from investigation that the justice department needed to be ahead of this matter. i can assure you and the american people that we will take a dispassionate view. this will not be about parties or ideological persuasions. anyone who broke the law will be
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held accountable. >> the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you, mr. attorney general, for your presence today. i want to return to the issue of the freedom of the press. there was a quote of federal regulations. i would like to read the beginning of that section, because freedom of the press can be no broader than the freedom of reporters to investigate and report the news, the power the government should not be used in such a way that it impairs the reporters responsibility to cover as broadly as possible controversial public issues. this policy statement is thus
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intended to provide protection to the news media from forms of compulsory process whether civil or criminal which might impair the newsgathering function. i'd realize there are exceptions. you have recused yourself. it seems clear that the actions of the department have in fact impaired the first amendment. reporters who might have previously believed that a confidential source would speak to them would no longer have that level of confidence. those confidential sources are now going to be chilled in the relationship with the press. whether or not this impairment of the first amendment was in fact justified by the criminal case, before you is not something you can discuss in a public forum.
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but i still cannot understand number one why and how you recused yourself. it says no subpoena may be issued to any member of the news media or for the telephone records of anyone of the news media without the express authorization of the attorney general. did you give that in writing to mr. cole? >> i do not think there is anything in writing with regards to my recusal. >> but what about the requirement in the code of you expressly approving -- was that authority given to mr. cole?
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>> he does become the acting attorney general. >> could you explain again or maybe you can't. let me ask a hypothetical. i realize you cannot talk about this case. the regulations say that these records should not be obtained in a compulsory manner unless there should be a negotiation with the news media unless it would impair negotiations. the "new york times" has gotten an opinion piece today expressing their concern, how could this be the fact? the records, the telephone records, would not disappear if ap were notified.
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how could ever be the case that the availability of this information would be impaired? >> this is both an ongoing matter about which i know nothing. i'm not in the position to answer that question. here is what i think -- i do think at the conclusion of this matter and when i can be back involved in it, given the attention that has generated as some kind of after action analysis would be appropriate, i would pledged to this committee and the american people that i will engage in such an analysis. but that would be after the case is done and when i can appropriately be involved. >> i think that is good. i wonder if we might also have
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mr. cole come before the committee since he is the one who knows this information. i did not know how long this will go on. you're not in the position to tell us. it seems seems to me the damage done to a free press is substantial and will continue until corrective action is taken. i would hope that we might be able to further pursue this and get some clarification on future action either through legislative efforts or through further revision of the regulation by the administration. i think this is a very serious matter that concerns all of us no matter our party or affiliation. i yield back. >> the committee would definitely be interested in the
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appearance of the deputy attorney general to answer questions regarding this matter. the chair recognizes the man from alabama. >> is deputy cole willing and able to appear before this committee and answer questions that you cannot answer? >> i'm sure he would be willing to. i'm not sure if he would be in a position to answer questions because he would be answering questions regarding an ongoing matter. >> will you urge him to make himself available? make that a priority? >> i will convey to him the desire that is expressed here today. i will caution the committee that asking the lead prosecutor about a matter that is ongoing puts them in --
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>> let me ask you this. there is a very high bar to subpoena a member of the press because the retribution and they fear retribution. as she said, you're supposed to explore and negotiate. we're not aware of any negotiations. you're supposed to try all alternative sources. let me ask you this -- on what day did you recuse yourself? >> i'm not sure. i think beginning toward the matter. the beginning of the matter. >> isn't that sort of an unacceptable procedure? that you would not formally? statute says that attorney general should approve a subpoena. shouldn't there have been some memorandum? there is no memorandum. no e-mail.
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when you recused yourself, was it in writing or orally? >> i certainly did not alert the white house. >> who did you recuse yourself to? do you not do that formally or in writing? >> no. >> you did not see any reason for a formal memorandum? that way we would know the time and date of your recusal? >> i have recused myself in the matter. >> don't you think it would be best practice to put in -- that recusal? >> i guess it would be helpful. >> it would be helpful.
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you do not remember when you excuse yourself. was it before the subpoena? >> i do not know when the subpoena was issued. >> it could've been after the subpoena? >> i certainly excused myself before the subpoena was issued. >> you had knowledge that there was going to be an investigation? >> i appointed people to lead the investigation. i appointed two good u.s. attorneys. >> have there been any discussions of the press involvement? >> the president's involvement? >> the press's involvement. you are aware that there was an investigation into the leak of the press at the time.
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>> a leak of the president? >> a leak to the press. i'm sorry, my southern accent. [laughter] >> that was the basis of the investigation. >> you know that the time of the statue that authorized you and you alone to authorize subpoenas to take those actions. >> sure. >> you could've anticipated there would be a subpoena to the press. >> not necessarily. the investigations that are done frequently where interaction with the press does not occur. >> at what point were alternative measures and negotiations with the press -- the discussion of subpoenaing the press and the time the
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subpoenas were issued, what time was that? >> i don't know. >> no idea? >> i recused myself early in the matter. they do not have to report back to washington. >> at what point did you inform the white house that they were investigating the press? >> my guess would be the white house found out by reading the newspapers. or watching television. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. >> thank you. >> the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas for five minutes. >> i think it is worthy to put on the record that is not enough time to be able to engage on some very important issues, but i want to take a moment of my time to be able to say thank you
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to the general or one of the most passionate and driven efforts of the department of justice. we are well aware of it in texas, which is the effort of the department of justice to increase the number of human trafficking prosecutions. we are the epicenter of human trafficking in houston. i want to cite my local officials and the human trafficking task force and to indicate to you as a ranking member of the border security that the chairman and myself will be embracing that topic. hopefully you can join in on the efforts. i appreciate that. i hope this is an ongoing effort. >> it is. it is a priority for this attorney general and administration. clinton was a big leader in this. i think secretary kerry will be as all. we really do have a local and
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state connection for us to be effective. this is an international crime. >> there so much we can thank you for and your years of service. that should be noted when you come before a committee and having the responsibility of upholding the laws of this nation. i have some serious questions. they are sort of yes or no answers. i appreciate your cooperation. let me start with the tragedy of the boston marathon. there is no doubt we have all mourned. those who have responsibility of the committee do well to not point the fingers, but can i ask you, as you review and fbi investigate, not to reject the concept that it is important to connect the dots.
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and that as you review it, you will hold those responsible in terms of however you address it. connect the dots. >> that is vitally important. that is why the inspector general's inquiry is important. i think we will really have a good sense of who had what information and when and whether it was properly disputed. >> thank you. i asked that we have a full hearing on that topic alone only because that was put into the 9/11 report. i thank you for acknowledging that. i think that is important. i want to move to the irs reports. the inspector general gave a number of recommendations. if i am reading it clearly, i
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want it to be on the record that one of them was to finalize actions and better document reasons. we have all made statements. my point is that i understand as the president has directed secretary of treasury to act that you have also taken to a higher level of the criminal investigation. can you put that on the record? i want to make sure you have not taken this lightly. this is a federal criminal investigation. >> that is correct. as of friday of last week, i ordered it from bill investigation be begun. >> do you have any limits on that? >> as i indicated in risk bond, the facts will take us wherever they take us. >> in testimony before the senate, you were asked about the shield law and